How to Make Dry Shampoo With Baking Soda and Cornstarch

A Few Minutes & a Few Ingredients Are All It Takes

home made dry shampoo
Erin Huffstetler

Dry shampoo is a quick fix for your hair and a popular time-saver, but it can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you use it frequently as your go-to alternative to regular shampoo. Also, store-bought dry shampoo often contains chemical ingredients that many people prefer not to use on their hair.

It's simple to make your own dry shampoo at home, and it requires very few ingredients. Here's a basic recipe that works well—and you can tweak it to suit your own personal needs.

How to Make Dry Shampoo 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda​
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • Mixing bowl
  • A closed container for storage

This basic recipe literally takes about five minutes to make as long as you have the ingredients on hand. Mix the baking soda and the cornstarch together in the mixing bowl and place it in the closed storage container for safekeeping.

How to Use Dry Shampoo

To use your dry shampoo, apply a small amount at the roots using your fingers and work it through your hair with your fingers and/or a hairbrush. You can also use a makeup brush to apply the shampoo.

The baking soda and cornstarch mixture absorbs the oils on your scalp and makes your hair look like it's just been washed. Use a makeup brush to remove any excess dry shampoo.

Using a large salt shaker makes applying the dry shampoo easy, and if you use it frequently, it's a good idea to get a shaker that's dedicated to this use and keep it in the bathroom.

The salt shaker helps distribute the shampoo through your hair more easily.

Tweaking the Basic Dry Shampoo Recipe

If you don't happen to have cornstarch in your pantry, you can substitute fine-ground oatmeal in this recipe. Just don't use baking soda straight up on your head. It's too strong on its own and could irritate your scalp and damage your hair.

You also can use bentonite clay to mix with the baking soda if you have it (health food stores sell it).

If you prefer a scented dry shampoo, it's simple to make. Just stir a few drops of essential oil into the basic recipe. Add the drops one at a time to avoid over-scenting your shampoo. Lavender oil is a favorite for dry shampoo, and some people also like rosemary, peppermint or lemon. Or make your own blend—the scent is up to you. Just be sure to carefully label the container you're using to store your shampoo so that no one accidentally uses it for cooking.

If you have dark hair, you might notice that dry shampoo leaves an unsightly white "ring" around your roots. Don't despair: This problem is easy to fix by adding natural coloring agents to the shampoo recipe.

Try cocoa for brown hair and red clay for red hair. Cinnamon can work if your hair is reddish brown or if you have lots of red highlights. Experiment to see what looks the best with your hair and skin coloring.